PART I: Isaac did have the surgery after all and his adenoids out at the same time too. The adenoidectomy (real word, I promise) was unexpected and required an additional level of anesthesia. 3 times in my life I have watched my children go from fully awake into the drug-induced stupor of general anesthesia, it is not great. This third time was especially charming. Isaac was fighting the mask and the nurses made me come in, hold him down, and sing him into submission, let me tell you how super fun that isn't!
After the surgery was over, the ENT came out to report. Our exchange went like this:
He told me he always tells parents exactly what he finds when he performs these procedures so they know they did not needlessly subject their child to anything.
Good, I didn't want to fly all this way for nothing, especially since I'm in the middle of a major international move.
Isaac, he said, was the worst case he had ever seen, EVER -- (and, no, he is not just out of his residency). He said there was so much gunk and goo in his little head he suctioned twice as much as normal (I know, gross) and I should expect more to come out for several days. Oooh, can't wait for that!
Worst case, huh? Guess that means I just lost Mother of the Year!
He went on to say that Isaac was fairly old to be having this procedure done and that it was strange we had not addressed his condition(s) sooner?
Yes, I'm down, go ahead, kick me. I mean, is it my fault he never had a fever, never complained, never was irritable? Those are the clues, was I really supposed to guess that his ears were in a constant state of infectedness?
He concluded by telling me that his previously diminished hearing (salt in the wound) should now be restored. And, in fact, he would probably have some sensitivity to sound because of all the fluid he'd had sloshing around inside (rub the salt in well and douse me some lemon juice for good measure -- thanks).
For the record, I am not exaggerating this exchange, I have witnesses.
In reality, there was no noticeable difference in Isaac after surgery. Luckily too, he didn't seem to harbor any ill will towards me for keeping him in a world of muffled noises. His recovery was quick and mostly painless and except for earplugs when he bathes or swims, it is hard to even remember that episode in our lives. The most significant change is that he has not had a perforated eardrum since, thank goodness. Everything has been so smooth, we could almost put all of these ear issues behind us...ALMOST.
PART II: A few weeks ago Caleb was watching TV and asked me to turn up the volume because he couldn't hear. I was in the next room and could everything, perfectly. You can't hear, I said, are you sure? He looks at me and practically yells, NO, I CAN'T! The next day he got in trouble at school for not listening, the only time he has ever gotten in trouble in school. He wept and wept and wept and... Needless to stay I whisked him off to the pediatrician where he FAILED the hearing test in both ears. Both! I KNOW!
Don't worry fellow Moms, I will never challenge any of you for super Mommy awards now or at any time in the future, this year has seen to that.
The doctor used a little doohickey cleaning thing on Caleb's ears, (again, gross) and then performed the hearing tests again. Right: Pass. Left: Fail.
My poor children have been walking around needlessly deaf. I blame overseas living. I know that's not fair (or true), but my alternative is to blame myself, so, duh!, overseas living it is. My Mom thinks this is why we are in the US right now, so I can get their ears in perfect working order, particularly since there is no reason why either of them should have any hearing issues. That seems like as reasonable a reason as any (i.e. to learn Chinese or to go to Graduate school) so I'm going with it.
Since we FAILED at hearing, Caleb has been back to the doctor twice for ear things, including, our favorite, a perforated eardrum. He is on a bunch of fancy drugs to clean things out permanently and with any luck when we go in for his 5 year-old check-up in January he'll be in fighting form at last.
Hear that, fighting form? Yeah, my kids didn't either! Oh well, what does not kill them, makes them, and certainly me, stronger!